Thursday, October 23, 2014

Spiced Apple Cider Jelly

Every year, I look forward to autumn.  There are so many things to enjoy this season: the beautiful leaves will change colors, you can wear a sweater, football games in the front yard, and the apple harvest!    We have a century old cider mill around the corner that is so charming to visit.  We like to eat their homemade sugar donuts and of course try their wonderful cider.  It only lasts a few months so we frequent the Cider Mill almost weekly.  Here is an easy and delicious recipe for cider jelly!  Fun to enjoy or give as gifts to neighbors, friends, or teachers.  It makes 4 - 5 Cups of jelly.

 You will need the following equipment:

large processing pot (canning rack if you like)
canning jars, pint or quart size depending on the size you like
canning funnel for pouring the jelly mixture into the jars
"canning tongs" for lifting the hot jars in and out of the water
long canning magnet for easily gripping your lids out of the hot water

Your Ingredients:

2 1/2 Cups fresh pressed apple cider
1 stick cinnamon broken into 4 pieces
3 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 pouch pectin

Combine Cider and cinnamon pieces in a large saucepan.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes. 

Strain cider through several layers of cheesecloth or a fine strain.  Reserve cinnamon stick pieces to add to jars later.  Rinse saucepan.

Measure 2 cups of cider and return to saucepan, add sugar.  Bring to a full boil over high heat stirring constantly.  Stir in pectin, return to full boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  

Ladle into hot jars and add one piece of cinnamon stick to each jar.  Put lids on jars and process for 10 minutes.  Make sure lids seal and allow to cool.  

Canning Tips:
-Always use clean equipment / sanitized equipment
-keep jars in hot water bath until time to ladle mixture into them
-Measure measure measure, don't estimate
-do not make substitutions when canning and do not double your recipe, follow it exactly
-have all your ingredients and equipment out and ready 

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